Undergraduate students interested in climate change and resilience can showcase their knowledge by creating a short film for the Old Dominion University Libraries' Resilient Monarchs: Climate Change Film Contest & Festival.

Winners will receive monetary prizes and have their films exhibited during a two-part virtual event in the spring.

The contest stems from the American Library Association's Resilient Communities Initiative, a program providing funding for film screenings and community dialogues in 25 public and academic libraries. Norfolk Public Libraries will also participate.

Joleen McInnis, liaison librarian for life sciences and the College of Health Sciences, hopes the student films will inspire viewers to "become involved in work to improve the environment and mitigate environmental problems in their local communities, whether through hands-on work or through community and political involvement."

Among the goals of the contest is to engage undergraduates in a discussion around issues related to climate change and climate resilience, thus "potentially connecting students to the local community while fostering engagement in communities beyond ODU," McInnis said.

Students may tackle any topic related to climate change, such as local efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, public trust in climate science, campaigns to affect climate policy, personal or community efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change on individuals or groups.

Judges are seeking submissions that show how climate change affects the lives of individuals connected to ODU.

"I hope the student films will inspire viewers to become involved in work to improve the environment and mitigate environmental problems in their local communities, whether through hands-on work or through community and political involvement," McInnis said.

The films, either documentary or narrative style, must be between two and five minutes and submitted by March 20.

The judges will include climate scientists, film studies faculty and librarians.

Judges will consider how well the environmental topic chosen engages, informs and inspires. Submissions must demonstrate creativity and a strong research-supported understanding of the topics and related issues.

A two-part virtual event begins April 6 with an hour-long, online discussion forum regarding themes in the film "Fire and Flood: Queer Resilience in the age of Climate Change." You can preregister at this link.

On April 8, the Libraries will publicly announce the contest winners in each of the award categories and host an online screening of their films.

Winners will receive awards ranging from $75 to $200 in Monarch Plus Points.

Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:

Grand Prix ($200): Awarded to the film which best combines filmmaking technique, strong storytelling, in-depth research and community engagement.

Community Engagement ($75): Awarded in recognition of the best examination of the impact of climate change on a community or the ways in which a group or organization is working to mitigate the effects of climate change on their community.

Public Understanding of Climate Science ($75): Awarded for to the film that best incorporates secondary research on climate science into a message that is easily understood by the general public or explores strategies for helping the public understand the risks of climate change.

Filmmaker's Prize ($75): Recognizes a film with outstanding creativity and aesthetic achievement. The Filmmaker's Prize will be awarded to a film with notably thoughtful or innovative cinematic and narrative choices.

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